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Cool Things To Do In Cancun, Mexico

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Cancun

Cancún City
Cancún City | Photo Credit – Christian Córdova

Cancun is one of the famous tourist destinations in Mexico for a number of reasons. There is a lot that Cancun has to offer to the wanderer’s soul. The following article has been curated in a manner that it will help you navigate all the possible aspects of Cancun. We hope you have fun exploring this beautiful city.

Explore the beaches of Cancun

The essence of Cancun lies in its beaches. Beaches form the most important part of the city and cannot be missed out at any cost. Here is a list of beaches of Cancun that you must explore to make the most of your trip.

1.Playa Chac Mool

Underwater in Playa Chac Mool, Cancun
Playa Chac Mool | Photo Credit – Ted Barrera

One of the top beaches in Cancun, this beach is meant to be visited by people who are looking for some leisurely time. Spend your weekend at the Playa Chac Mool, lying down in the sand and soaking in the sun. This beach is ideal for people who want to avoid the crowds. 

You can consider this place to visit with your partner, as it comes with the promise of privacy. The waters at Playa Chac Mool are clear and best for a safe swim.

2.Tulum Beach

Tulum Beach Cancun
Tulum Beach Cancun | Photo Credit – Mindaugas Danys

Located in the vicinity of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Tulum Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Mexico. The beaches here are less crowded than most of the other beaches at Tulum and are an ideal place for people who are looking to get an escape from the crowd. The Tulum Beach is marked for its white sand beach which is lined with huge palm trees.

 To add to the charm of the place, you would find a number of cabanas and open air-cafes that will help you relax and enjoy your time. So if you are looking for a calm beach which is away from the hustle-bustle of the city then this is certainly the right place for you.

3.Playacar Beach

Playa del Carmen, Cancun
Playa del Carmen, Cancun | Photo Credit – dronepicr

Also known as Playa del Carmen beach, this beach is known for its vibrancy. The beach is lined with clubs and boutique hotels, which will make your experience at the beach even more luxurious. If you looking for things to do with your friends in Cancun, then you must consider a visit to this beach. 

The beach is also often used as a wedding destination, so you can plan a small event with your friends and family with the same. The waters here are usually calm, so you can indulge in activities like snorkeling. The beach does not have public restaurants, so we recommend you to carry your own snacks.

4.Playa Delfines

Playa Delfines is the most popular resort-free beach at Cancun, Mexico.
Playa Delfines Cancun | Photo Credit – David Stanley

Known as El Mirador or The Lookout, this beach is famous for being the Dolphin Beach. This is because of the number of dolphins that one can sight at this beach. The beach is located in the Hotel Zone and has a large expanse of clear sand, which makes it an ideal public beach for walking and soaking in the sun. 

The parking at this beach is free, so you can simply drive your way to it. The beach also comes with a playground that is especially dedicated to the young ones. However, this beach might not be the most ideal for a swim, given the fact that it is prone to high tides.

5.Playa Norte Isla Mujeres

Known as the North Beach, the Playa Norte Isla Mujeres is one of the most beautiful beaches in Cancun. The most characteristic feature of the beach is its white sand and turquoise waters. This beach is relatively very quiet and is one of the places to visit on a weekend. This is a safe beach for outdoor activities like swimming. 

You can rent chairs and umbrellas at the beach, and spend some leisurely hours at the beach. There are a lot of clubs nearby, so you can take away some drinks and relish them at the beach.

6.Akumal Beach

Akumal Beach, Cancun
Akumal Beach, Cancun | Photo Credit – 16:9clue

Located 100 kms south of Cancun, Akumal Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. The beach derives it name from the word Akumal, which means “place of the turtles.” True to its name, one of the major attractions of the place is its turtles. This is also a perfect place to visit, if you are looking to indulge in activities like snorkelling and swimming. 

The Akumal Beach promises a unique experience as the visitors have the opportunity to swim along with green sea turtles. The beach is also famous for its Scuba diving community.

7.Puerto Morelos Beach

Puerto Morelos Beach, Cancun
Puerto Morelos Beach, Cancun | Photo Credit – alyssa BLACK.

Known for being a quaint beach, the Puerto Morelos Beach is one of the beaches that you must visit on your trip to Cancun, Mexico. The water at the beach is appropriate for snorkelling, so you must carry your snorkel gear with you. The area is protected, so you will have to take permits before you decide to snorkel. 

At the beach, you would also be able to spot the famous ‘bent’ lighthouse, which adds an old-town charm to the beach. This beach is ideal for couples and families who are looking to spend time away from the crowds.

8.Playa Maroma

Also known as Maroma Beach, this beach is one of the many beaches in the River Maya. The beach owes its fame to its stunning blue waters, which is a major source of attractions to tourists from all over Cancun. This beach is perfect for families who are looking to spend a quiet day at a beach. You can simply lie down in the sand and soak up the sun. At this beach, you can also indulge in activities like snorkeling. 

There are a number of resorts and clubs near the beach, which you can visit to wind up your day. This beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico and we highly recommend it.

9.X’cacel Beach

Known for its freshwater cenote, the X’cacel Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Cancun, Mexico. One of the many interesting aspects of the beach is that it is dedicated to sea turtle conservation programme.

If you are looking for beaches where you can participate in activities like snorkelling, this is the right place for you. There are few restaurant near the X’cacel Beach, so we would recommend you to carry your snacks along with you.

10.Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve | Photo Credit – Robert Pittman

This place is dedicated to preserving the flora and fauna of the region and hence was named as a Biosphere Reserve in the year 1986. This place is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest protected area in the Mexican Carribean region. This is one of the most popular spots amongst tourists who are into wildlife. 

Here at Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, you would spot a number of birds. To add to your experience of the place, you can opt for a tour of the reserve and can even take a fishing tour. This is one of the best beaches to visit with your family and it will certainly have a calming effect on you.

Attractions in Cancun that you must not miss

Even though Cancun is known for its beaches, yet there are other places in this beautiful city that you must not miss out on. Here is a list of major attractions in Cancun, which will add more charm to your trip.

1.Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza | Photo Credit – Trans World Productions

One of the most famous places in Cancun and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza is a must-visit place. Take a day trip to this place to get a glimpse of the civilization of Mesoamerica. Here you will find many ancient buildings like The Temple of Warriors, The Great Ball Court, El Caraco, and El Castillo.

This place is flocked by tourists all round the year who come here to gaze at this architectural marvel. You can opt for a guided tour at Chichen Itza, which will help you appreciate it in a better manner.  A visit to Chichen Itza is no less than a divine experience and we highly recommend it to you. This could be one of the best places that you visit in 2020.

2.El Rey Maya Ruins

El Rey | Photo Credit – Gary Todd

An archaeological site from the pre-Columbian Mayan culture, the ruins of El Rey is one of the most important tourist sites in Cancun, Mexico. Here you would find ruins of some forty seven buildings that are absolutely breathtaking. One of the most famous parts of the ruins are two raised platforms that are believed to have served as important ceremonial areas.

In order to understand the place in a more holistic manner, you can opt for a tour of the ruins. This will enable you to understand the history of the place in a far more superior manner. If you are lucky, you would also be able to spot a number of iguanas in the area.

3.El Meco Archaeological Site

Cancun is a heavenly place for tourists who like to explore history. The El Meco Archaeological Site is one place that you must check off from your bucket list. One of the major attractions of the place is the El Castillo, which is a 12.5 meter pyramid. Here you will also find the facility of restrooms.

You can visit this place from eight in the morning to five in the evening. The entry fee is 3 US dollars or 55 Pesos. You can opt for a guided tour of the ruins, but they are only available in Spanish.

4.Cancun’s Interactive Aquarium

Cancun’s Interactive Aquarium is one of the top places that animal lovers must visit. Unlike most aquariums, this place tries to revolutionize the way visitors interact with underwater life. Here at the aquarium, you will have a chance to snorkel and experience marine life from the vicinity. One of the most famous programs of the aquarium is the “swimming with dolphins”, where visitors are offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with dolphins in person. 

Other major attractions at the aquarium include stingrays, seahorses, and clownfish. A visit to Cancun’s Interactive Aquarium will make you come close to understanding sea-life and is highly recommended. To know more about the experience at the aquarium, check out this Youtube video.

5.The Scenic Tower & Xcaret

The Scenic Tower, with its height of 262 ft is the highest part of River Maya. The tower rotates slowly, which makes for one of the best aerial views. From the top of the tower, you would be able to enjoy the stunning view of Xcaret park.

Not to mention, the beach looks absolutely stunning from the tower. This place will be one of the best ones that you would visit in Cancun. To find out the admission fees of the tower, visit here.

6.Swim in an underground river at Xcaret

Swim in an underground river at Xcaret | Photo Credit – Güldem Üstün

Cancun is known for its underground rivers. If you are looking for a little adventure at Cancun, head straight to Xcaret where you can try your hand at swimming in an underground river. Xcaret has three underground rivers(The Blue river, the Mayan river, and the Manatee River), each of which has a slow-flow and thus is perfect for swimming. 

Swimming in an underground river will make for a unique experience as you would be able to see corals while you take a swim. If you are taking the trip with your family, you might want to consider taking a package for this adventure sport of underwater swimming.

7.Plaza Las Americas

Plaza de las Américas | Photo Credit – Carlos González “El Samurái”

To enjoy Cancun in a thorough manner, head to Plaza Las Americas. Here you can shop for everything under the sun, be it clothes or jewelry. You will find here a number of general department stores where you can shop for essentials.

The place also has salons, where you can spend some leisurely hours. While you are Plaza Las Americas, we recommend you to try the delicious food at one of the many stalls.

8.Urbano Kabah Park

Urbano Kabah Park is also known as Parque Kabah or Kabah Ecological Park. This is one of the best places to visit in Cancun if you are looking for places that have a calming effect. You can visit the park on a weekend and spend your time organizing a picnic with your family. You can spend the day lazing around in the company of palm trees and lush green gardens.

The attractions of the park include a playground for children and a petting zoo. At the park, you will also have the chance to watch a number of animals like iguanas, wild pigs, and deers. The park is a frequented space by birders, owing to the variety of birds that can be spotted here.

Museums to visit in Cancun

Cancun is famous for its museums as they are a great source of knowledge to its visitors. Visit these two museums of Cancun, which will leave you speechless.

1.The Maya Museum

The Maya Museum Cancun
The Maya Museum Cancun | Photo Credit – David Stanley

The Maya Museum or Museo Maya de Cancun is one of the top places to visit in Cancun, Mexico. If you are new to the city and would like to learn about its history, this is the museum that you must visit. The museum is dedicated to showcasing the rich history of Mayan culture, right from its roots to modern times.

Here at the museum, you would find over 350 articles, all of which deal with the splendid history of Mayan culture. One of the major attractions of the museum is the remains of a ten-thousand-year-old “Woman of the Palms.” This is a very interesting place to visit and will help to acquaint you with the region’s history, which will in turn help you to enjoy the other tourist destinations in a better way.

2.The Cancun Underwater Museum

Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun Underwater Museum | Photo Credit – 2il org

Ever visited a museum that is entirely underground? If no, then now is your chance. The Cancun Underwater Museum is a museum that is dedicated to the art of conservation and is one of the most popular museums amongst sea divers. Here you would find around 500 sculptures, all of which are underwater. The museum is dedicated to the protection of coral reefs.

The sunken structures become a platform for the coral reefs to develop, which in turn would help save the ocean. The museum provides a number of tours, each of which aim to enhance the visitor’s experience at the museum. To know more about the tours and their cost, visit their official website

5 Do’s and don’ts in Cancun

Visiting a new place can sometimes be intimidating. To help you feel at home in the city of Cancun, here is a list of some Do’s and Don’ts that might come in handy.

Some Do’s

1.Keep your currency ready:

Even though you can use both Pesos and US money in Cancun, it is advisable to not exchange your currency at the airport or at Cancun hotels. This is because of the reason that at the airports and hotels, you will be charged with lower rates. Instead, you should get your money ready at a local branch before the beginning of the trip.

2.Take a bus

When in Cancun, ditch your usual mode of commute and try the buses. They are often available at the hotels and you can use them at your convenience. This service is also recommended because it is the cheapest way to commute around the city.

3.Book Excursions at the Resort

Cancun has a lot of resorts and hotels. If you do not want to discover the city on your own and instead want to opt for an excursion, make sure that you book yourself a trip right at the hotel. This will make sure that you get the best deals without having to do much searching.

4.Leave Tips

It is advisable that you tip modestly at resorts and restaurants. Apart from this being the ethical thing to do, this will make sure that you receive the best services.

5.Meet people

Cancun is one of the most famous places in Mexico and is visited by people all over the world. While at Cancun, make sure to strike up a conversation with other tourists, and have a fun time.

Some Don’ts

1.Avoid using electronic cards:

We recommend you to keep your cash handy as some ATM cards in Cancun charge exorbitant transaction charges. You may end up losing some $20 for a transaction of hundreds. So to avoid this, it is best to keep your cash handy.

2.Be careful with water that you consume:

While you are traveling, you might be tempted to drink packaged water that you will very easily find on the roadsides. But beware, this may lead you to get sick so be careful to check the contents on the water bottle and only purchase from a reliable source.

3.Don’t forget to apply Sunblock:

Cancun is all about lying on the beach and soaking in the sun, but make sure that while you are at it, you do not forget to take care of your skin. The sun in Cancun can be very hot, so make sure that you apply Sunblock and carry it with you.

4.Do not lose your resort wristband

All-inclusive hotels in Cancun, often provide wristbands to their customers. Make sure that you keep it safely at it can be quite expensive to replace it.

5.Say no to Taxis

If you want to save some money in Cancun, you must avoid taking the taxis. They will charge you an immense sum of money for a short distance. You should rather walk the distance or hire a bus before you start your trip.

Places to eat at in Cancun

To make the best of your trip to Cancun, check out the amazing food at the following restaurants.

1.Puerto Madero

Puerto Madero | Photo Credit – John M

Located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, Puerto Madero is one of the most famous dining spots amongst the tourists. This is because of its pleasant ambiance and exciting menu. This is a perfect place for a date night and we highly recommend it. You should try their mouthwatering variety of seafood.

2.La Troje

Located near Plaza Las Americas, this restaurant is one of the best places to stop by for lunch. The restaurant is known for its Italian food. From crepes to baguettes, you will be able to munch on some of the tastiest food.

3.Taste of India

Craving some Indian food in Cancun? Head straight to Taste of India where you can eat some of the most authentic Indian food that you will find in Cancun, Mexico. Located at Plaza Nayandei, the restaurant has a very detailed menu that you can choose from.

We would recommend you to try out their spicy chicken tikka masala paired with some yogurt drinks. This restaurant is a must-visit place for anyone who likes Indian food.

4.Du Mexique

Du Mexique is one of the most quaint places to eat at Cancun, Mexico. A small cozy place, the restaurant owes its fame to its amazing food which is a favorite amongst the locals of the area.

Here you will be able to taste some of the finest Mexican food. The restaurant has only seven tables, so make sure that you reserve a table before going down to visit them.

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